The Pandemic has brought Soup Dumpling or Xiao Long Bao quality to new heights!
Why did we dine here? – Dough Zone dumpling house is a regional small chain of restaurants that started in the Seattle area (2014) and has now expanded into Northern California, at Cupertino and San Mateo. They specialize in dumplings and have a menu that is very similar to that of popular Din Tai Fung.
Why did we dine here? – Harborview Restaurant is located in 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco. It takes the place of Crystal Jade, which spend $14 remodeling the space. This restaurant is run the founder of by the well established R & G Lounge Kinson Wong. Weekend and evening parking validation available.
Hong Kong Flower Lounge is synonymous with Chinese food on the SF Peninsula. They are part of the Mayflower restaurant group that has 2 Chinese Cantonese restaurants locations in the San Francisco Bay area; Millbrae and Milpitas. Several others have closed. We have eaten at their location in Millbrae many times.
Why did we dine here? – Dumpling Home was featured in the SF Chronicle for Xiao Long Bao or Soup Dumplings making us really want to try it. We are big fans of these delicate little steamed dumplings and have eaten them all over the world including Shanghai. The two best spots have been Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara and Yank Sing, SF. We have dined here several times. Our last visit was during the summer of 2021.
Happy lamb hot pot replaced Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot is a hot pot restaurant in downtown San Mateo, right across from Walgreen’s during the Covid 19 Pandemic. The decor is majorly improved and they use serving robots. Prices have also gone up.
Why did we dine here? – Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant is a Chinese Mandarin cuisine restaurant located in the foggy Outer Sunset District of San Francisco. They have been serving up pretty authentic Mandarin dishes for many years. Old Mandarin is an Islamic restaurant that does not serve pork and sticks to Halal certified meats.
Our last visit was about seven years ago, so we were eager to rekindle our fond memories during the summer of 2021 during the Pandemic for Take out.
The Kitchen is part of a restaurant group that owns Chinese Cantonese restaurants in California including Asian Pearl Peninsula. We have dined at many of them and find the food pretty very good. In recent years, they have slipped. New upstarts like HL Peninsula and Dragon Beaux has carried the torch forward.
Our goto Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco Area..
Why did we dine here? – Yauatcha is a fancy Chinese restaurant chain with several locations in London. They are the more inexpensive sister of Hakkasan. We came for dinner and found it packed, with a loud clubby atmosphere. There are locations in India and Saudi Arabia.
Celebrity Cuisine is a One Michelin star Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. It has ping ponged between one and two stars for years. Michelin 1 Starred Restaurant (2010, 2017-20), Michelin 2 Starred Restaurant (2011-2016) We were looking an easy same day online lunch reservation after a disappointing meal at Maxim’s Palace. This spot fit the bill, Perfectly. It is located in Central, across the street from the old school Lin Heung tea house.
Old school dim sum charm. Zen Peninsula is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Millbrae. Millbrae is ground zero for some of the best Chinese food in the SF Bay area with spots like:
Solid Chinese Food in Millbrae.
Asian Pearl Peninsula in Millbrae was at one time, part of the same Culinary Wonderland group that owned the highly rated The Kitchen in Millbrae, hence the same menu. We’ve been to this location a couple times and have found it to offer very good Cantonese Chinese cuisine, in fact some of the better ones the San Francisco Bay Area. In recent years, upstarts HL Peninsula, Grand Harbour, and Dragon Beaux have stole its thunder.
Redefining top notch dim sum and Chinese food near San Francisco.
Why did we dine here? – Grand Harbor is a Chinese restaurant in Burlingame, California, located right by the San Francisco Bay. (Next door to Benihana) It has a grand view of the Bay and the San Francisco Airport to the north. Leisurely watch planes landing all meal long. Our Last visit was in the Summer of 2019.
3 Star Hong Kong Restaurant with no wait. T’ang Court is a 3 Michelin star restaurant in the ritzy Langham Hotel in Hong Kong’s touristy Tsim Sha Tsui district. It got upgraded from 2 to 3 stars in 2016. Our last visit was in 2020 for dim sum lunch when we stayed upstairs and could just walk right in. (Protests worried visitors.) We previously ate there in 2011.
Better soup dumplings than Din Tai Fung?
Last Update: 2020
Foodnut travels, eats, and tells. We’re based in San Francisco but have flown all over the place. We love Chinese food and find some of the best in Hong Kong.
Why did we dine here? – Bistro Na’s is the first Michelin Starred Chinese restaurant in the Los Angeles area. It is located in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV), about 20 minutes from Downtown LA. This spot is the first outpost of a chain with several locations in China. This is a beautiful restaurant, definitely worth dining at.
Koi Palace has been the #1 Chinese Dim Sum restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Peninsula is ground zero for some of the best Chinese food in the San Francisco Bay Area. Around 2018, new upcomers with opulent interiors and modern menu have challenged them.
Solid Dim Sum in Fisherman’s Wharf of all places!- Why did we dine here? – Palette Tea House is from the team behind top rated Chinese restaurants: Koi Palace and Dragon Beaux. They took over Waxman’s location in Ghirardelli Square. We gave them a month and headed to tourist central to try this new dim sum palace.
Fab Chinese in SF.
Why did we dine here? – Dragon Beaux is a new restaurant from the folks who run our favorite Chinese restaurant, Koi Palace. This location is in the Outer Richmond district and focuses on Dim Sum during lunch and Hot Pot/Cantonese food at dinner. We came here when it first opened in 2015, and recently returned in the Spring of 2019.
Joy, aka 5 Joy Restaurant is a small restaurant in the Beach Park plaza strip mall bordering the San Francisco Bay in Foster City, just south of the Highway 92 San Mateo Bridge. A hidden gem in the middle of no where.
China Village Seafood Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant in Belmont, California just off the Highway 101 Ralston Exit. They have been around since 1996, serving dim sum during both lunch and dinner, as well as standard Cantonese Chinese cuisine.
Why did we dine here? – Begoni Bistro is a modern, good looking Chinese restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It is not old and dingy like some of its neighbors. We were tipped off about this spot a while ago and finally got a chance in 2018.
Best place for Dim Sum newbies plus the Best xiao long bao steamed dumpings in San Francisco?!?
We return to the first 3 Michelin star Chinese Restaurant in the world…
Upscale IFC Shopping Center – Glitzier than any USA Mall
Shanghai Flavor Shop is an inexpensive restaurant in a second rate strip mall. This diamond in the rough is located in sleepy Sunnyvale, and specializes in Shanghainese Chinese cuisine. To the right of this restaurant is the popular Indian Buffet: Sankranti
Chinese New Year is Friday, February 16!
Why did we dine here? – Din Tai Fung is a popular Xiao Long Bao (It means small bamboo steamer bun in Chinese) – Shanghai Steamed Soup dumpling restaurant with locations in Bellevue, Seattle, Southern California, Taiwan, Japan, China, Indonesia, Macau, Singapore, and several other countries. Few Chinese dishes generate so much obsession. Think of it like a quest to find the best burger or pizza. We have been to this location several times. Last visit was in 2019.
Why did we dine here? – Din Tai Fung is a popular Xiao Long Bao (small bamboo steamer bun in Chinese) – Shanghai Steamed dumpling restaurant with locations in Bellevue, Los Angeles, Taipei, Japan, China, Singapore, and several other countries. We have dined at the location in Shanghai’s touristy Xintiandi, Bellevue, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The Los Angeles location is in Arcadia with Yelp reviews unfortunately indicating it is a step down from the ones abroad, although some say it is better than the original in Taiwan.
China Village is a Chinese restaurant featured on the KQED public television program Check Please back in 2008. They specialize in Szechuan (Sichuan) Chinese food but serve other styles of Chinese Food. China Village is in the 2010 Michelin Guide as a listed restaurant. We were nearby and finally had an excuse to visit. Our last visit was in the summer of 2018, after they re-opened in July 2013 and remodeled the restaurant after a fire.
J. Zhou in Tustin, Orange County, California is an upscale Chinese Cantonese restaurant in The District Mall. After a meal you can hit Whole Foods or the mall next door! The restaurant has been here since 2014.
Great Sichuan Spicy food in the OC.
Sichuan Impression in Tustin, Orange County is the second outpost of the spicy restaurant, the others are in Alhambra and Los Angeles. We at in the LA one near UCLA in 2019. This location is located in a plain jane strip mall near Highway 5. It was recommended to us as probably the top Sichuan restaurant in the OC. Also checkout our review of nearby J Zhou, Tustin for dim sum.
Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant arrives in NYC.
Best Shanghainese Chinese restaurant in San Francisco? Little Shanghai Restaurant is a family run Shanghainese Chinese Restaurant in San Mateo near the San Mateo Fairgrounds. They have the usual Americanized Chinese dishes along with a fair amount of Traditional Shanghai dishes not served in most restaurants. Our last visit was in Fall 2017.
Why did we dine here? – Cooking Papa is a popular Hong Kong style casual Chinese restaurant with locations in Foster City and Santa Clara. We have dined at the Foster City location several times. There is a line much of the time, a testing to the popularity of this restaurant. People typically wait at least 30 minutes during peak times. Our last visit was in the winter of 2018.
Koi Palace is a popular Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Daly City, California. (Just south of San Francisco) The Peninsula is ground zero for some of the best Chinese food in the SF Bay area. It has been around since 1997 and specializes in wide selection of Dim Sum for lunch and special dishes for dinner.
This restaurant also has locations in Dublin and at Thunder Valley Casino. We came for dinner and have previously reviewed Koi Palace dim sum lunch. Our return trips included the latest in 2018. Yelp reviews emphasize lunch and do not factor in where this place falls in the Chinese restaurant pecking order.
Mission Hipster heaven. Modern Fusion Chinese.
Mission Chinese Food is a restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District that used to be a popup in the Lung Shan restaurant. Mission Chinese Food has basically taken over the place with its success!
Why did we dine here? – China Live is a $20 million Chinese food extravaganza from Chef George Chen and crew. (Shanghai 1930, Betelnut, etc) Very ambitious, this complex seeks to help put Chinatown back on the map along with Mister Jiu. Billed as an Eataly of Chinese Food, we were chomping at the bit to try it, but waited 3 weeks for things to settle down. The food was still marginal at that point. We returned about 2 months after it opened and found things a lot better. They focus on high quality ingredients: organic, local, etc…
Shanghai Dumpling Shop is a popular Shanghainese Chinese restaurant in Millbrae’s Broadway shopping district. While they have all the ‘standard’ Chinese restaurant dishes, they are specifically known for dishes from Shanghai, including dumplings even though the staff can be heard belting out Cantonese Chinese. Our last visit was in the Spring 2017.
Last Update: July 2017
We love Xiao Long Bao (XLB) aka Shanghai Steamed Soup Dumplings and have eaten all over the world seeking the best. Are you a Xiao Long Bao addict too? Read on.
One tip: If you are looking for good XLB, do not order them from a Cantonese Chinese restaurant. You are almost always guaranteed disappointing results even at the Best Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco: Koi Palace. Order these little balls of wonder from a Shanghainese Chinese restaurant.
Hot Stuff! Why did we dine here? – Chili House is a Chinese restaurant in the SF Richmond district. It is special because in November 2015, Tong Gang Wang became the chef at Chili House. He has cooked for several Presidents in China. This is a sister restaurant to Z&Y Sichuan restaurant in SF’s Chinatown. With the new chef, there is more Beijing food on the menu, like hand-pulled noodles, Beijing pot stickers and lamb hot pot. This restaurant reminds us of China Village in Albany.
Soup Dumplings! Why did we dine here? – Chef Zhao Kitchen is a Shanghai Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto, near 101 and Embarcadero. This is a sister restaurant to Cupertino’s Shanghai Garden.
Confusing things, Chef Zhao Bistros in Mountain View and San Mateo are unrelated both cuisine-wise and with owners. This restaurant has been getting some good local buzz, so it was time to check it out.
Best Authentic Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown. R & G Lounge is a popular Hong Kong style Cantonese Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. Since 1985 they have been serving top notch Chinese food in Chinatown.
Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant is one of best Cantonese Chinese restaurants in Southern California, according to several different sources. Foodnut agrees, it continues to be our go to place when we are in Southern California for Dim Sum.
Why did we dine here? – Per the guru: King Hua is one of the top 3 Cantonese Chinese restaurants in the SGV aka San Gabriel Valley. The other two are Sea Harbour and Elite. (Lunasia does not belong in the top 3) We have been to the other 2, so it was time to try the last one. Sea Harbour has been our favorite to date.